Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rachel and Jenn Eat Philadelphia: Abyssinia

**** So I've been informed that "foul" (pronounced fool) is actually an Ethiopian dish.  I feel culturally insensitive.  But oh well. ****

This is the first installment of "Rachel and Jenn Eat Philadelphia."  In reality, this was a restaurant I went to with Eamonn, but that's ok.

See? Totally fine.
Abyssinia is an Ethiopian restaurant two steps from our place.  (I was going to include a map here, but just in case someone I don't know is reading this (unlikely), it's probably not a good idea to show my exact location.)  I had never had Ethiopian food before, but "what the heck?" said I.  Upon arriving, there was a sign on what looked like the front door instructing us to go to the side door to enter.  A surly looking man (obviously not Ethiopian) was smoking on the steps.  He assured us we were heading in the right direction which was not as reassuring as one might believe.  Anyway, it was totally fine inside.  It had cool tables with woven tops and nice paintings on the walls.  They (the proprietors, that is) did a lot with a space that definitely was not meant for a restaurant dining room.

We were seated and given menus.  Now one of my favorite things is misspellings on menus, street signs, billboards, or any public venue.  Generally I see them in foreign businesses.

**Disclaimer!** I'm in no way suggesting that immigrants/foreigners misspell things because they are not intelligent.  Obviously, if they can come into a country where they are not so familiar with the language and create a thriving business, then they are smarter and savvier than me.  It's just that sometimes misspellings can sometimes be very unfortunate and hilarious.  **End of disclaimer!**

So the first misspelling was of jalapeño as hallapino. Understandable.

Can you see that?  I know it's tiny.
The second one, however was simply unfortunate.  It was not even a misspelling, but a word swap.  In describing their chicken dish, they swapped "fowl" with "foul."  So there it was.  A photo of their food (which looked pretty good) had the caption, "foul." I had to get a picture.
What a pity.
Distracted by the menu (or by my bossy photo shoot directions), Eamonn somehow ordered raw meat! On the plate, it looked like something in a tomato sauce and did not taste that bad.  Then we realized what it was.  It's funny how once something changes mentally, the whole taste changes.  We took a bite or two, then just couldn't bring ourselves to eat more.  I was proud of myself though!  Public meat enthusiast that I am, I thought it would be hypocritical to avoid it.  Though I'm not going to make raw meat a part of my regular diet, I'm glad I tried it.

One fun thing about Ethiopian is that you are supposed to eat with your hands.  The food is served on a spongy pancake bread which you use to pick up the food and eat it.  I did that for a while, to pick up the lentils and veggies, but inevitably, I fell back into my fork habits.
What can I say? I'm a fork person!
Misspellings and raw meat aside, the food was plentiful, spicy, and pretty good!

Friday, July 23, 2010

She’s fiya burning, fiya burning...

I should be awarded a prize from Homeland Security.  I have discovered a "humane" way to torture someone!  I was generous enough to be the guinea pig of this new technique...but let me start from the beginning.

I was cooking a lovely Mexican feast for Eamonn and myself.  Mango chicken flautas and Spanish rice to be exact.  As I was cheerfully dicing jalapeños, my nose began to itch.  Without thinking, I scratched it.  In the process, a seed from the pepper made its way up my nose.  The burning sensation started slowly, but I soon started to feel it in my throat and all through my sinuses.  I ran upstairs to try to flush it out, but somehow the addition of water spread the fiery sensation to my eyes and the skin on every part of my face.
So spicy!

Now it's serious.  I start screaming: EAMONN!!!!! AAAAAAAAH!!!!!!  Obviously, he comes running because he thinks I'm dying - and I'm not about to correct him.  I am dying.  Someone has stolen my face and rubbed it into the sun.  I can't see, my nose is dripping, I'm coughing, I'm crying, my whole face is on fire.  It is the worst pain of my life.

Eamonn to the rescue.  "Pour a shot of milk into each eye!" Fail.  Now I'm on fire and have milk all over myself.  "Let's try putting your whole face in it."  Now I think he's just messing with me, but I'm pretty desperate at this point.  I submerge my face in a bowl of 2%.  The burning finally becomes less unbearable.  I keep an ice pack strapped to my face for the rest of the evening, but eventually I recover and now have a lovely YouTube video as a memento of this adventure.

So the point is that I experienced the worst pain of my life and now I'm fine.  I'm not suggesting that waterboarding or getting fingernails plucked off are less painful experiences than jalapeño up the nose, I'm merely suggesting that we can accomplish similar goals with minimal permanent damage!  I would have told anyone anything if they could have made that pain go away - and jalapeños aren't even the hottest pepper!  Imagine what we could do with ghost chiles!  With clever culinary cruelty, we can get what we need from those terrorists without becoming the monsters we seek to destroy!

This post became a bit of a soap box, which was not my original intention.  But now you get to see what a fool I am, a hilarious video, AND know my opinions about torture (kinda).  You're welcome :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fresh out of batteries, but still making noise.

Until Teaching Bootcamp, I did not know the meaning of the word "tired."  In the past, I've believed that I was tired.  Oh, those were the days.  I have been lethargic.  I have been sleepy.  I have been wiped out, fatigued, weary, and even pooped.  But now...I'm tired.  Not only am I mentally exhausted, my body is fighting back from the abuse.  My face is breaking out, my back hurts, my head aches, and skin is peeling off of my toes (that one I just don't get).  It's rough.
And it doesn't help that I've become an autobot:
wake up
get dressed
get lunch
get on bus
lesson plan
fight with printer
rinse and repeat.
This mundane schedule is punctuated with the occasional mental meltdown, or tearful breakdown, or raging tirade, or delirious laugh-fest, but generally I've been too tired to be a person.

Here is a list of things I've been too tired to do.
  1. catch up on True Blood
  2. move into my apartment
  3. sign important documents
  4. be a friend
  5. watch the Nanny
  6. pick paint colors
  7. scrapbook
  8. get drunk
  9. blow dry my hair
  10. write a blog post
So...I'm sorry.  I'll try to write more as my work load dies down.  Soon I'll be back to my witty hilarious self.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why Busses Rock!

Can you feel the luxury?
Everyone knows that every time you see a long line for something it must be awesome!  Free cone day at Ben and Jerry's: awesome with an awesomely long line.  Super crazy roller coaster: super long line.  The same goes for riding the school bus! 

I can feel the toxins oozing out of me!
Oh, yes.  You can have the privilege of waiting impatiently to enter this giant yellow pleasuredome.  Not only is the bus free transportation, it's also a day spa! 

As soon as you walk through those doors, you instantly feel the steamy, sauna-like air hit you in the face.  Within seconds all of your impurities will be dripping away! 

Now that you have a nice cleansing sweat going, you can pick any seat you'd like.  If you crave the aromatherapy of early morning smog, then choose a lovely window seat.  Let the carbon monoxide lull you into a sense of calm and well being.

Hello gorgeous ;)
Window seats also have the added benefit of a free blow-out, giving that tousled look to your too-smooth and overly polished hair.  That professional coif you spent 20 minutes perfecting doesn't enhance your natural beauty anyway. 

Speaking of nature! Want more of Mother Nature in your face?  While you gaze out of the window, enjoy as the occasional tree branch actually reaches in and brushes your cheeks, lips, and corneas.  The bark will exfoliate your skin into next Tuesday!

So silky!

If you feel out of alignment and need every bone in your body jostled into place, then the back of the bus is right for you!  Ate too much for breakfast?  Sit anywhere to receive the benefit of the "Quease Cleanse."  A few minutes of continuous swaying will allow you to "evacuate" that excess food in no time! 

Now that your trip is almost over, don't forget your complimentary leg wax!  Feel your legs get smoother as they delicately peel off of the genuine vinyl seating, leaving all your unwanted hair behind.  Feel beautiful? Feel sexy?

I know, you don't want to leave - and that's ok!  You get to spend even more time in this bus spa as you wait in line to re-enter the real and less luxurious world. The best part? You get to do it all again at the end of the day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New York vs. Philadelphia: Subways

Hello all!  I know it's been a while, but I'm in teacher boot camp so I hardly have any time to blog it up. This next entry is first in a new series that I'm calling "A tale of two cities: New York vs. Philadelphia."  Enjoy my comparison of the public transportation system.

New York Subway Map 
Philadelphia Subway Map
Super-sized rats vs. Petite "ratettes"
Sweet Swiping!

Too-Cool Tokens!
Arm crushing doors vs. Gradually sliding doors
Hard bench seats
Hard row seats
Inaudible announcements vs. More inaudible announcements

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Kiss of Death

I recently told this story to a friend and I think it's blog-worthy.

My kiss is lethal.
But let me start from the beginning.  In elementary school, my friend Caitlin and I were superior frog catchers (in addition to being professional tree-climbers, bee hunters, film makers, and fort builders).  We caught everything from big bull frogs to little toads.  Once, we caught almost 100 tiny little frogs that we found in my backyard - no joke.  Another time we "saved" tadpoles from the pond in my backyard (a perfectly fine habitat, in retrospect) by moving them to a nearby stream (which led into said pond).

One time, I caught a frog and played with it for a while.  We grew to be friends.  I named him Kermit (creative, no?) and we had the best time.  I made him dance, I poked his eyes, I made him hop around...he had a blast.  After our antics I decided that he should go back to his family, so I walked him to the pond.  (Now, I can't quite remember if Caitlin was with me that day, but if she was I have a sneaking suspicion that she dared me to do this.)  When it was time to say farewell, I decided to double check that Kermit wasn't a prince.  (After all, we had had such a nice time together and wouldn't it be nice to have such a fun-loving guy in my life?) So I kissed him.  Nothing major, just a small peck.  Sadly, he remained a frog.  With a sigh I said "goodbye Kermit!" and tossed him ceremoniously into the water.

I expected to see my little buddy swim away, but instead I saw him float slowly to the top of the water.  "Kermit?" He flipped belly up. "Kermit!" What had I done?  My kiss was the kiss of death!  What had once been a chipper little frog was now the victim on my venomous lips. 

I ran as far as I could from the scene of the crime.  I washed my face and brushed my teeth, trying to scrub away my sin.  Later that night, as I laid in bed, I could hear the familiar sound of bull frogs croaking.  I could have sworn they were chirping "MURDERER!"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bon Appetit 2

I've been going a little crazy because I can't really unpack all my stuff but I also can't really pack it.  I'll be living in a state of flux until June 22nd when I can pack some of my stuff and go to "Institute" (a.k.a. teaching boot camp).  When I feel disorganized in this way, I calm my nerves by creating things - food, art projects, etc.  I've been doing a lot of cooking, so I thought I'd write another cooking post.  This culinary episode actually occurred about a month ago.  Enjoy Pioneer Woman's Onion Strings!

I'm having trouble making these posts look decent.  Oh well.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

They call me baby driver...

...and once upon a pair of wheels, I hit the road and I'm gone.

I'd like to tell you about the day I got my license.  My big bad 17 year old self drove in my friend, Chris's car down to Salem county for my test.  Chris jabbered in the back seat about his driving test and how I would have no problem passing, while I gripped the wheel at 10 and 2 with white knuckles.  My mom interrupted my friend's 60 mile-an-hour talking to coax me to speed up my 35 mile-an-hour driving (on a free-for-all stretch of country road). Wanting to compensate for my timidness, I floored it the rest of the way and proudly walked in to the testing center.  In an effort to boost my own confidence, I told the woman at the desk that I had scored a 100% on the written exam to which a scruffy looking man behind me replied "That don't matter." I could only reply with nervous laughter.

My actual test was uneventful except for the occasional distraction of the 70 year old instructor hacking up a lung with his smoker's cough.  Most importantly, I passed!

I celebrated by taking my mom's giant boat of a Mercedes to the school to pick up my two friends, Rachel and Grace for lunch.  I felt so cool and independent...and nauseated. My mother's car felt too big. There were too many other cars on the road. I was already violating the terms of my Cinderella's license by having two friends in the car at one time. It was all just too much. Mercifully, we arrived at the Hollywood Cafe Diner (isn't that a redundant restaurant name?) I felt much better and surprisingly less nauseated after scarfing a cheesesteak.

Backing out of parking spots had been a tricky task for me during my driving lessons, so I always tried to be very cautious.  I slowly reversed out of my parking spot, checking my mirrors, and having Grace and Rachel monitor my blind spots.  No one, however, was monitoring the front of the vehicle.  Just as I thought I was home free, I heard a "screeeeech crunch!" My mother's headlight had scraped the side of the poor unsuspecting vehicle next to me. Stunned, the three of us simply sat in silence. Then we all yelled "DRIVE! DRIVE! DRIVE!"  I peeled out of that parking lot like I had just robbed the place.

Trembling with guilt and picturing the poor senior citizens' faces when they saw their vehicle's wound, I didn't think I could continue my journey. Knowing I couldn't return home in this emotional state, Grace suggested a trip to the Dollar Store, which always resulted in delightful treasures and lifted spirits. (Looking back, I wonder if I should be proud that we could find joy in such simplicity...or if I should be embarrassed that we were so lame. I'm going to go with proud.)

I pulled into the most remote parking spot on the whole lot (a practice I continued for many months after that day), cried a little, then pulled myself together and walked toward the Dollar Store with my friends. On our way across the vast deserted parking lot, we spotted a Polaroid picture face down on the asphalt. Curious adventurers that we were, we skipped over to the photo, bent down and picked it up. To our shock and horror, the photo was of a man engaging in masturbation. Yes, a very erect penis was front and center. I only saw the picture for a second before screaming in terror, but that image is burned into my brain for all of eternity. My eyes! My innocence! What is this world coming to?!

After the terror wore off, we broke out into laughter and ran for the store to buy trinkets that would reclaim our childhood. I then dropped my friends off at their homes, pulled into my driveway, walked into my house, and burst into tears, crying to my mother that I was a failure. She comforted me, gave me some birthday cake, told me not to tell my father, and sent me to bed.

My adventures on the road continued to be rocky for a while and thankfully ceased during the blissful months I spent riding NYC's public transportation. Now that I need to be on wheels again, I hope I've finally got the hang of it.
an example of a "rocky" park job

Friday, May 21, 2010

The awesome doesn't fall far from the tree.

I was going to post about the amazing trip to the Finger Lakes wine country, but my parents were too funny today that I needed to write about them instead.

I'm having a small soiree tomorrow.  I've had many of these types of gatherings in the past, so it's almost like second nature to throw a "Colna Party" together.  Bagel bites? Check.  Alcohol? Check.  Hot tub? Check.  That's pretty much all my friends and I need to have a great time together.  For some reason though, my parents always get super freaked out right before I have people over.  My dad suddenly thinks I'm throwing this party to convince everyone to like me: "well what kind of food are you going to have? Are there enough tables? Are the speakers set up? Are people going to come???" My mother is worse in that she obsesses about the cleanliness of every room in the house. "Did you dust the pantry? Vacuum the attic? How does the fridge smell??"  I brush off these questions and remind them that I've been friends with these people for 10+ years and that everything will be fine.

But honestly, I owe it to my parents for making our house one of the frequent party destinations in my friends group.  My favorite question they ask: "Do you have enough alcohol?" After all, what else will ensure that everyone likes me and that no one will care how our house looks? My dad makes killer margaritas and keeps a well stocked beer fridge.  Today in the grocery store, my mom picked up a watermelon and said, "we definitely need on of these."  I assumed she intended to cut it up for fruit salad and said, "you don't have to cut up fruit."  She looked confused and replied, "I was just gonna put vodka in it."  That's my mommy :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Amen to NYC

I'm extremely melancholy today.  I moved out of my apartment, away from my wonderful roommates and away from the city I love.  Hamna says my room is echoing and my heart.  Melodramatic?  Maybe, but it's my blog and I'll whine if I want to.  I will start Teach For America training in June and officially move to Philadelphia in August, but in the meantime, I plan on lying in the sun, drinking, and soaking in every last bit of friendship I have near me.  I'm lucky to have so many wonderful folks in my if you're one of them, THANKS!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Allergy Sufferer ≠ Animal Hater

Last night Cary and I were looking for suitable pets for me.  Turtles and fish seem to be my only options.  I have very bad allergies.  If it's fluffy, cute, cuddly, or just simply mammalian, I am allergic to it.  It's not just that I get sneezy around dogs or cats - I break out into hives, my throat starts to close, I wheeze, I sneeze, and my nose runs like a faucet around any animal that people typically enjoy.  I went to Amish country once and took a nice horse and buggy ride: ALLERGY ATTACK.  I went to the circus: ALLERGY ATTACK.  Renaissance fair: ALLERGY ATTACK.  You get the idea.   The sad part is that I really like animals.  I would love to cuddle with a kitten or play with a puppy (whoa, alliteration) but my body won't let me.  Pet lovers do not always understand this.  Oftentimes, when I tell people that I'm allergic to their beloved pets, they look at me as though I just said I wanted to eat Fido for dinner.  They look offended and skeptical: how could this girl insinuate that my adorable kitty would hurt anyone?
I am not insinuating that.  I love your pet, but I'm simply trying to save you a trip to the emergency room.  These are some of my favorite responses from people when I tell them I have allergies and can't stay long in their house.

"It's OK, I just vacuumed."

Oh vacuuming! Why didn't I think of that? Unless by "vacuumed" you mean shaved and genetically re-sequenced your pet, then it is not OK.  You may have bought me 5 extra minutes of breathing time in your home, but if you think that you are the genius that realized the cure for allergies was vacuuming you are in for a world of disappointment.

"It's OK, Fluffy is hypoallergenic."

I have said this a million times: just because your pet doesn't shed as much as other pets does NOT mean that he is hypoallergenic.  I don't care what the dude at Petco said, I will still break out in hives if that animal comes near me. 
"It's OK, Rex is such a good dog, he won't bother you."

I would like to make this perfectly clear:  I do not blame your pet for my allergies.  I blame my overactive immune system. I blame God. I blame bad luck. Don't look at me like I accused your pet of murder. I know it's not its fault, and I'm sure its lovely and smart and does awesome tricks, but I'm still allergic. If Rex is really such a good dog, then he will understand that it's nothing personal, but my body hates him.

"It's OK, my dad has allergies and he's fine around Gloopy."

This one is the hardest to deal with.  People suddenly because experts because they know someone who has been "cured" of their allergies by their magical pet. They assume that I can be cured too, or that I'm just faking since allergies can simply be warded off by certain special creatures. I'm very happy for your dad/mom/brother/etc. I'm glad they overcame whatever watered-down version of allergies they had - but my allergies are not their allergies.  Mine are serious, so I'm sorry if I look distracted during your testimony about your miracle pet.  My immune system is attacking me and fighting imaginary toxins, rendering me incapable of focusing on how your dad was cured of his sniffles.

I'm sorry pet lovers.  I'm just jealous and bitter that you get to cuddle with fluffy lumps of happiness. I'm just looking for a little understanding.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This is probably in bad taste.

Even though I am about to hold a bachelor's degree in psychology from NYU, this is all I'm qualified to do.  Let's see what's ailing these little fluffy rabbits who just don't want to live anymore.

Oh dear.  It seems this little bunny was suffering from some form of eating disorder, perhaps anorexia.  Unable to cope with her distorted body image, this bunny ended her life and was literally crushed by the weight of her disease.
Ah, it is possible that this little rabbit suffered from histrionic personality disorder.  His crippling need for attention and obsession over appearances eventually spelled his doom.  Blinded by jealousy of his fellow body builder, he failed to see how this sabotage would lead to his demise.
Caught between two opposing forces, it appears that this bunny suffered from rapid cycling bipolar disorder.  The poor thing couldn't handle the crazy highs and devastating lows.  Mood swings literally tore her in two.

I'm really sorry.  I'm feeling kind of dark today.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tiny Disasters


Now that my thesis is done, I've been looking for things to do to feel productive during the day.  I've done lots of unnecessary, but beneficial tasks like pasting all the recipes I cut out of magazines on to note cards, sorting my pictures, and today, I took inventory of all the food left in the apartment.  Yes, an actual inventory in an Excel spreadsheet.

I'm under the delusional impression that this will come in very handy.  Anyway, I realized that we were out of Parmesan cheese and olive oil, which will be key in using up all the food I had left.  I planned on picking some up after the party with my lab.


So I left dinner with my awesome professor and the fabulous people in my lab feeling happy and nostalgic, but not so much so that I forgot my mission to purchase cheese and olive oil.  I stopped by a grocery store and found the items without incident.  I grabbed store brand cheese and the biggest container of olive oil I could get for not too much money and went up to the register.  Due to my frequent meat consumption and love for air conditioning, I try to be as green as possible when I can.  I already had a bag from a CVS run earlier so I put my new groceries in the same bag.  It was heavier than I anticipated and as I was shifting the weight, the bag tore and the giant bottle of olive oil fell to the side walk...and shattered all over my feet.  There goes $8.00.

After a few expletives, I moved aside to pick the glass out of my toes (only one of them was bleeding.)  The olive oil was everywhere.  My feet were soaking in it.  My strappy sandals were covered and slippery.  Being the optimist that I pretend I am, I tried to think of this slippery mess as the ultimate foot moisturizer.  I focused on my newly softened callouses as I literally slipped and slid the 8 blocks to the subway.  I wish I had video.

Once I very slowly and carefully got down to the subway, I got out my Metrocard and went to go swipe when a lady stepped on my very oily foot and somehow managed to get my shoe off.  While I was trying to hold on to my stuff and fix my shoe and swipe into the station, the train came...and left.

By this time, part of me wanted to laugh, part of me wanted to punch someone in the face, and part of me wanted a drink.  I finally got on the train and decide to get off a stop early and go to my favorite wine store to get a nice New Zealand sauvignon blanc.  In the process I somehow dropped my beloved iPod and step on my head phones, so now one of the ear buds looks like this:
I slip and stumble into the wine store when I realize I must look like a drunk.  I can't walk straight, I have one earphone in, the cord isn't even attached to an iPod, and I'm carrying a bottle of Parmesan cheese.  If only I had a picture.

On the bright side they sold me the wine, I hobbled home, washed my feet (which do feel softer) and now I'm sitting on my couch about to watch the United States of Tara with a nice chilled glass of wine.  I hope this gave you all a bit of a chuckle.

P.S. anyone know the best way to clean olive oil off of shoes?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sleepwalking Nightmare of Doom

Let this be a warning to you all.  Exercise extreme caution when ingesting any medication with the suffix "PM."  Normally I consider myself pretty impervious to these types of medications since I suffered from extreme insomnia my sophomore year of high school and became immune to any over the counter sleep aide.  However, it's been a while since I've needed that little extra shove into Dreamland, so when I finally decided to just take a pill last night, the effects were stronger than I anticipated.  Last weekend I stayed up for 20 hours straight for NYU's annual Relay For Life for which I am one of the overall event chairs.  I also worked at the hotel (aka got up really early), went to a party (aka stayed up really late), and took a praxis II exam (got up get the idea).  Basically my sleeping schedule was completely out of whack and remained so all week.  I was getting pretty fed up with not being able to fall asleep until 3 and then being awakened by the piercing (but lovely) rays of the sun at 9.  To many of you hardworking people reading this, a 6 hour night does not sound so bad, and it's not - I've been functioning, but I'm an 8 hour girl.  I feel weird and cranky without my full night's sleep.

But I digress.

Last night after popping my pill I was looking forward to 8 (maybe 10!) hours of peaceful slumber.  Instead, I awoke to the sounds of demon voices screeching my name "Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnn."  Startled, I jumped out of bed and stumbled to the door.  When I stepped out into the hallway, the entire apartment was flashing with an eerie blue light.  All around me I heard incomprehensible voices.  I ran to the bathroom, where the screeching resumed. "Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!"  Then suddenly it sounded like people were banging on the walls around me.  As I was sprinting back to my bed, I somehow had the presence of mind to remind myself to write about this in the morning. 
If you can't read that, it says "sleepwalking nightmare of doom!" on a notebook that was beside my bed.  Clearly, I wanted to share this traumatic experience with you all.

After another fretful night's sleep, the sun not only forces my eyes open, but illuminates the true events of last night.  Here is a code to what actually happened:

screeching demonic voices: really damaged breaks of a garbage truck
eerie blue light: the lights from our cable box in the living room
incomprehensible voices: Hamna speaking Urdu in a Skype conversation
more screeching: more bad breaks (really people, go see a mechanic)
banging on the walls: old pipes making noises

I'm fine now, but let this be a lesson to all who are considering taking the medical route to sleep - it might not be as restful as you think.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Love Meat

Stop your snickering and get your minds out of the gutter!!  But really, I love any kind of meat.  Pork, beef, poultry, seafood - all of it!  I even love things that PRETEND to be meat!  For instance, I love those Morning Star fake hot wings.  I also love facon (fake-bacon).  Hamna just made a delicious quiche with facon mmm-mm-m-m-m!  The point is, I'm a carnivore and proud of it!  That is all.

Oh yea, look at that.


I'm trying out new template designs.  This one is pretty, but the post column is awfully skinny.  What do you think?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Today I encountered a number of weirdos.

1.  Weird lady with a poncho comes into the restaurant (it was my last day FINALLY).  "Is there jam?"  "Yes! It's on the table."  I turn around to see the woman sitting at the buffet that's displayed on the bar.  She pulled up a chair and plopped next to the muffin display.  I didn't even know what to say.

2.  Man eating breakfast with his wife.  Winks at me from across the room like we're friends with an inside joke.  Again I am speechless. 

3.  Angry girl in my Torah class (yea I occasionally attend Jewish classes).  We were discussing how it's important to listen to others' opinions, which was totally over her head.  She was going on and on about how it's obnoxious to repeat what others say (as in, Ok, I hear you saying A, but I think B).  I said that it can be a good way to understand other people's opinions but she kept saying "You can't be sure they were doing it nicely, you can't interpret it that way! It's obnoxious!"  Then I said "I think you're just taking the obnoxious interpretation."  She flipped out and called me rude and guess what else? OBNOXIOUS!

4.  Dramatic girl on the street.  On the phone: "Mom!  I can't live like this!  I can't take this anymore!"  Followed by dramatic sobbing.  I'll never know what she was so upset about.

I might be quirky, weird, and goofy...but at least I'm sane.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bon Appetit

From time to time I like to pretend that I am a gourmet chef.  I would like to share with you my attempt to replicate Pioneer Woman's Sun-dried Tomato Risotto. Enjoy.  
Well I got off to a good start.  I didn't quite have enough onion, so I added some shallots that were in danger of rotting before I got to use them.  Don't worry, they were still good. 

PW used real garlic.  I like the stuff from the jar. It's more refined.  Now, her sun-dried tomatoes looked red and happy...mine, not so much.  They smelled funny too.  But I pressed on.

Ok, butter and olive oil worked out.  Notice the fun purple in my onion mixture.  I like to keep things colorful.


Then I added the tomaters.

Oooh, I was very happy it looked similar.  I then spent the next 40 minutes adding chicken broth one cup at a time.

Until it looked like this!  Not quite as fluffy, but I made it work.

Next for the Parmesan.  I used the powdery stuff because I'm classy.
Then she added heavy cream.  We are not as luxurious in the apartment so I used 2% milk.  Plus, I'm trying to keep my girlish figure.

I couldn't believe it!  Pioneer Woman used basil from a jar.  That's what I had too.

Oh yea, look at that.  Delicious!

It actually turned out pretty tasty.  Thanks P-Dub!